March 17, 2020

The Morning Buzz presented by TRICHOMES brings you late-breaking news that tells you what’s happening within the cannabis industry.

**It’s a not-so-lucky day for cannabis stocks, one state’s move towards medical legalization might surprise you, and a promising study gives hope to fibromyalgia sufferers. Today is Tuesday, March 17th, and this is your TRICHOMES Morning Buzz.

**With terms like ‘market meltdown’ being thrown around, exactly how bad is the stock market for the cannabis industry right now?

Bloomberg reports, for an industry that was already struggling to survive slumping stock prices and a virtual shutdown of capital markets, it’s hard to overstate the impact of the coronavirus-related market meltdown.

Between the close of trading on Feb. 20 and Thursday, March 12th, when many global stock markets were hit by once-in-a-generation declines, the BI Global Cannabis Competitive Peers index slumped 43%, bringing its 12-month decline to about 81%.

Experts say it’s debatable what impact the rapidly spreading pandemic will have on revenue — all those housebound, anxious people could be very good for cannabis sales — but it may be too little, too late for some companies that were already running low on cash.
**Meanwhile, Alabama (yes, you heard that correctly) is one step closer to legalizing medical cannabis…
The state Senate approved a bill last week to permit the treatment for patients with qualifying conditions.

The bill, sponsored by Republican state Senator Tim Melson, passed the chamber on Thursday by a 22-11 vote, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.

“There could have been more of an organized effort to slow it down, and I appreciate the body not doing that,” Melson told the newspaper following the vote. “We tried to address some very serious things. I’m not taking this bill lightly. It’s a big step for Alabama, and there’s still a long way to go.”

Under Melson’s bill, patients 19 years and older with anxiety or panic disorder, autism, cancer-related cachexia (CA-KECK-SEE-UH), nausea, weight loss or chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, and HIV/AIDS, among other qualifying conditions, would be eligible for a medical cannabis prescription.

Melson introduced a medical cannabis bill last year that also passed the state Senate before fizzling out in the House of Representatives. Following Thursday’s passage in the Senate, the bill will now head to the House, where it will likely face a harder road once again.

** New study shows cannabis to be effective against fibromyalgia symptoms

According to Ganjapreneur, Researchers at the Luigi Sacco University Hospital in Milan, Italy have published new research that suggests medical cannabis can be effective in the treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms, the Cannabis Exchange reports.

The study, published in Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology 2020, recruited 102 fibromyalgia patients who were given two types of cannabis oils, one rich in THC and the other a balanced blend of THC and CBD. Participants were monitored for six months and were asked to measure the severity of their symptoms — which generally include fatigue, anxiety, depression, and prolonged pain — throughout the study using the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire Revised (FIQR).

An excerpt from the study’s conclusions says, “This observational study shows that adjunctive MCT [Medical Cannabis Treatment] offers a possible clinical advantage in FM [Fibromyalgia] patients, especially in those with sleep dysfunctions. The retention rate and changes in concomitant analgesic therapy reflect MCT efficacy of the improved quality of life of patients.”

A link for the study can be found with this story

** Cannabis shops are reporting fewer customers, yet larger purchases and (of course) increases in sanitary measures

Cannabis retailers are seeing customers stocking up on products as the coronavirus spreads across the United States. Stores also are implementing extra precautions to keep both customers and employees safe.

Here are some of the approaches cannabis businesses are taking in response to the health crisis:

– Increasing social distancing and sanitation.
– Prioritizing medical patients.
– Encouraging online ordering, home delivery and drive-through purchases of cannabis, where available.

Bob Ramstad, owner of OZ. a retail store in Seattle, said he’s seeing fewer customers, but the customers who are coming in are tending to stock up more.

Some of that purchasing behavior is driven by fears shopping could be shut down or severely limited, as has occurred in countries with a coronavirus outbreak such as Italy, Ramstad said. “It’s a really stressful time,” he added.

Ramstad thinks the effects of the outbreak could be felt for a long time.

“This is going to be impactful for the next three to six months,” he said. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”


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